Sometimes an entire roast turkey is just too much. And often there’s so much left over, some of it goes to waste. You like to stick to tradition but need a recipe for a smaller, more intimate Thanksgiving celebration. This succulent alternative, with its fragrance of Middle-Eastern spices, fits the menu. And if you find that there’s still some leftover, try our suggestions for delicious pre-cooked foods.
Roasted Turkey Breast Stuffed with Fruit and Nuts
You’ll need one-half boneless turkey breast. Either ask the butcher to cut a pouch into it, or do it yourself at home. It’s surprisingly easy.
The half-breast resembles a longish triangle. Insert a long, sharp knife into the widest part and carefully, not to poke holes in the flesh along the way, just slide the knife along till you have a pouch. Move it from side to side gently to enlarge the opening. The meat is very tender and will readily tear, so go slowly. The turkey breast is now ready to be stuffed.
Breast meat tends to be dry, so protect the juiciness by enclosing the breast in oiled baking parchment or foil.
Turkey Breast Stuffed With Fruit and Nuts
1 half turkey breast
1/2 cup mixed, chopped dried apricots, cranberries, raisins
1/2 cup mixed chopped nuts: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white or light red wine
an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
A sprig of rosemary or two small bay leaves
A handful of scallions
1 peeled and slightly mashed garlic clove
Mix the fruit, nuts, onion, salt, pepper, and wine. Stuff the mixture into the turkey breast.
Sprinkle paprika and additional 1/2 teaspoon salt all over the breast. Pour the olive oil over the breast and spread it on all sides. If any stuffing falls out, just scoop it up and place it under the breast when baking it.
Place the stuffed, seasoned breast in a tent of oiled baking parchment or foil. If there are holes in the meat, lay the breast open and place the stuffing over the side facing you. Fold the whole breast in half and tie it with kitchen string. The cooking juices will seal the pieces together again. Add the wine and the fresh herbs. Pinch one side of the tent closed but leave the other side open for ventilation so that you get roasted, not poached meat.
Bake at 350°F, 180°C for 1 hour. Check after one hour for doneness. If the meat still seems too pink, bake it another 15 minutes. Once you’re sure it’s done, remove from the oven at once. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Photos by Miriam Kresh.
Miriam also writes a food blog.